He moves slowly, feet dragging somewhat against the asphalt, head bowed. The only sound is of his feet scuffling, his breathing too shallow to be heard, his arms limp at his sides.

His grown out hair, brushing in matted clumps against his shoulders, is dulled to a strange rusty orange color, having lost its previous luster.

The cold night air does not seem to have any effect on him, the wind shifting his clothing as it whispers through the empty streets. He continues on seemingly mindlessly, trailing drops of blood as he goes, though he does not seem to limp or cringe or be in any sort of pain.

He has a single destination repeating in his mind, over and over again, as if a chant. Karakura town. Karakura. Karakura. Karakura.

Where in Karakura?

He knows where, the vision rising up in the back of his mind, flooding his conscious mind. The small building, the familiar window, one he has had to climb in and out of so many times before.


Obsession, almost. His feet carry him, and he finally arrives, the dark clinic before him crying out for him to leave, to turn away. He ignores it, his hand raising to take a hold of the door, wrenching it open even though his arm is slicked with fresh blood, dried blood, dirt. Scratches, slashes, scars.


He moves inside, already aware of the man within waking and coming, coming to stop the intruder. To stop him.


He stands there, waiting, dripping blood. The man stumbles to a stop a few feet away, something of a weapon in his hand, raised in defensive posture.

And he finally looks up, slowly, through limp and dirtied bangs, hair that falls down to his lips. He looks up, slowly, trailing those eyes to meet the gaze of the other.

He looks up with blank eyes, hooded eyes, eyes the color of honeyed brown, instead of yellow, but still floating in an endless sea of black.

There is a moment, a pause, where the very universe itself seems to take a deep, shuttering breath, and then whatever it is that the other man is holding in his hand, that thing that cannot be identified, clatters to the ground and he is moving forward with a shocked expression written on his features, his hands reaching out.

He feels himself falling, detached, his eyes watching as he nears the ground, and then hands are on him, arms are stabilizing him, and a voice that he recognizes but cannot place is calling out to him frantically, loudly.

"Ichigo. Ichigo!"

And then his world goes black.